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New Music: Agnes Obel

By Gurman Sahota, November 1 2016 –

Agnes Obel delivers her third studio album with such panache that it’s difficult to believe it’s just an album. With ample use of instrumentation, Citizen of Glass is a chilling auditory experience for the ages. ent_glass

The Danish singer-songwriter worked on the album over the course of two years and it shows. Obel pays particular attention to a variety of stringed instruments peppered throughout the album.

The opening track “Stretch Your Eyes” opens by indulging the listener in 40 seconds of eerie instrumentation — as though they are prowling through a dim forest. The sense of foreboding does not dissipate as Obel’s rustic vocals enter the song and heighten the sense of haunting magic. The track sets the tone for the rest of the album  filled with creepy fairytale performances by Obel and other featured artists.

“It’s Happening Again” is a rich song with the repetitive chorus and heavy orchestral background. As with most of the album, Obel makes great use of music to provide imagery as if it were the background music of a montage scene in a dramatic film.

Obel allows instruments to highlight the ten-track album. Haunting in its own right, Citizen of Glass is an appropriate listen, especially for those who don’t wish for Halloween to end.

The album ends just as it began with “Mary,” a grim piano melody that elicits the unearthly feelings of the opener. However, unlike the abrupt introduction of Obel’s voice in the first song, the last gently fades away leaving the listener with ten seconds of silence on the track.

If an audio album could be cinematic, Citizen of Glass most definitely is. A visceral collection, Obel knows how to draw out complex emotions from relatively simple songs.

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